Conforto, Michael

2014 MLB Draft Review: New York Mets

Over the next few weeks, DTTS will take a look at each teams 2014 MLB Draft class, breaking down the best — and most questionable — over the past week.

Next up, the New York Mets. The Mets had one of my favorite National League drafts last year, were they up to the task again in 2014? Let’s Discuss.

The Decision Makers

General Manager: Sandy Alderson

Director, Scouting: Tommy Tanous

The Breakdown

College: 18

Prep: 21

Pitchers: 23

Position Players: 16

LHP: 05

RHP: 18

Catchers: o4

Corner infielders: 02

Middle infielders: 04

Outfielders: 06

 The First Ten Rounds

Value Key:

Steal: Player was selected several rounds — or in the case of the first-round, several picks — later than his value indicated.

Solid: Player was taken later than his value indicated.

Average: Player was selected where his value indicated.

Slight-reach: Player was taken slightly earlier than his value indicated.

Reach: Player was drafted several rounds or picks earlier than his value indicated.

Pick Player Position  School Value
01.10 Michael Conforto OF Oregon State Average
03.84 Milton Ramos SS American Heritage HS (FL) Average
04.115 Eudor Garcia-Pacheco 3B El Paso CC Reach
05.145 Josh Prevost RHP Oregon Slight-Reach
06.175 Tyler Moore C LSU Reach
07.205 Brad Wieck LHP Oklahoma City Reach
08.235 Dash Winningham 1B Trinity Catholic HS (FL) Reach
09.265 Micheal Katz OF William & Mary Average
10.295 Kelly Seacrest LHP UNC-Wilmington Reach

Analysis: It took me some time to get on the Conforto bandwagon — as a Pacific Northwest guy, I’ve had the chance to see him play as much as any first-round prospect — and in a deep hitting draft, I would have called this pick a reach. We all know that this wasn’t the case, so I can understand why the Mets decided to go with one of the safer bats in the class. The approach is outstanding, and assuming he actually gets pitches to hit at the professional level (he will), you should see the plus power show up in games. Defense is never going to be a calling card, but he’s improved in left and I think he can stick there in at least the medium term. I don’t see a star, but a quality regular who could move quickly through the system is nothing to sneeze at.

Ramos might be the best defensive infielder in this class, and there is very little doubt that he’ll be able to play a quality shortstop at the professional level. There are major doubts about the bat, however, as there’s almost no chance for him to hit for power and the hit-tool projects to be below average as well. If he shows a semblance of offensive ability he’ll be a quality starter, but there’s a pretty good chance he’ll be nothing more than a utility infielder, too.

There’s plus power in Garcia’s bat, but I have serious questions about whether or not it’ll ever be able to play because of the below-average (at best) hit tool. He’s also more likely to end up across the diamond than at third base — with left field also a possibility — as he doesn’t have the athleticism or arm strength to stick at the hot corner. I wouldn’t say this was a wasted pick, but I thought this was a couple of rounds early for someone of his talent.

Provost was one of the better senior pitchers in this year’s class, and sort of reminds me of Chris Young (the pitcher, not the outfielder) as a right-hander with good size and downhill plane but isn’t overpowering and relies more on his secondary offerings. There isn’t huge upside here, but it wouldn’t stun me if he became a quality bullpen arm or fifth starter in a couple of years.

After the fifth round, the Mets had one of my least favorite drafts, which is understandable considering their allocation funds were limited by the lack of a second round selections. Wieck and Seacrest both project to be relievers at the next level, and Moore a backup catcher — at best. There’s some offensive upside in Winningham, but he’s a well below-average athlete, with one scout calling him a “poor man’s Dan Vogelbach.” Considering I’m not a fan of the rich man version, it’s tough for me to call that a great pick even in the eighth round.

I did like the pick of Katz in round nine however, as I think he’s an intriguing bench bat with above-average power who can play a corner outfield in a pinch. There are significant contact issues, but he works counts into his favor and he can take the ball out to any part of the ballpark.

Final Thoughts

The Mets were in a tough position this year, both in terms of their draft “needs” and because of the lack of a second round pick. I think they did just fine with Conforto, although I still believe Bradley Zimmer is the better overall player. I don’t have issues with the Ramos pick, but after that there just isn’t much upside in this class, which is somewhat surprising considering they acquired it in bunches in the past three drafts. Assuming Conforto and Ramos become regulars this draft will likely be remembered as a relatively successful one, but it’s difficult to imagine anything else out of these first two rounds becoming anything more than organizational depth or bullpen arms. You need those things too, of course, but I would have taken a few more risks in the 4th to 10th round.

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